Anyone with a summer garden has probably experienced that overwhelming moment when the zucchini starts to pile up far too quickly. From salads and stir-fry to muffins and bread, there are a plethora of ways to try to utilize zucchini, but perhaps nothing is more fun than creating zucchini noodles.
Out of all my kitchen tools, my spiralizer is one of my favorites. I first discovered this fun tool when I became vegan and was incorporating more raw vegetables into my diet. The spiralizer is an amazing tool that enables you to create “noodles” from a vast array of different vegetables. Zucchini noodles (also known as zoodles) are perhaps the most popular spiralized vegetable, but plenty of other vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, daikon radishes, beets, and butternut squash also make excellent “noodles”.
This raw recipe features zucchini noodles coated in a vibrant walnut-parsley pesto sauce. This recipe puts a spin on traditional pesto by using walnuts and parsley in place of the traditional pine nuts and basil. Additionally, pesto usually includes Parmesan cheese, but this vegan version relies on nutritional yeast for a cheesy tang. Nutritional yeast, also known as “nooch”, is a deactivated yeast often used as a condiment in vegan and vegetarian cooking. The yellow powder imparts a cheesy, umami flavor and is also a great source of protein and B vitamins.
Walnuts, an extremely nutrient-dense nut, are a great source of antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. They’re also more cost-effective than pine nuts. Flat-leaf parsley has a fresh, fragrant flavor, and is extremely rich in chlorophyll, carotenes, and other vitamins and minerals. The beauty of this recipe is that it is so simple, fresh, and customizable. You can switch it up by combining other spiralized vegetables with the zucchini noodles or using a mixture of your favorite fresh herbs in your pesto. Use whatever is most fresh and simply let your garden be your guide.
The spiralizer is an amazing tool that enables you to create “noodles” from a vast array of different vegetables. While this recipe uses zucchini, many other vegetables would work well here, including cucumber, sweet potato, and butternut squash.
- 2 cups parsley, roughly chopped and packed
- 1/3 cup walnuts, soaked overnight and dehydrated at 100°F until dry, about 24 to 36 hours (see note)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast, plus more for garnish
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 4 medium zucchinis, spiralized and roughly chopped (see note)
- In a food processor, combine parsley, walnuts, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, garlic, and sea salt and pulse until combined but still chunky.
- With the processor running, slowly drizzle in olive oil and continue processing until well blended. Stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Continue processing until you reach your desired consistency.
- In a large bowl, combine zucchini noodles and pesto. Toss well until noodles are fully coated and pesto is well combined.
- Garnish with nutritional yeast.
If you don’t have the time to soak and dehydrate your nuts, and you aren’t concerned with keeping the recipe completely raw, you can used roasted walnuts instead.
How to spiralize:
- Peel produce if necessary, then slice off ends to create a flat surface.
- Secure spiralizer to counter top.
- Decide which blade you want to use.
- Align center of vegetable or fruit to the central coring blade, then secure the other end to spokes of the handle.
- Crank handle away from you to push produce through the blade.
- Roughly chop noodles to cut up any extremely long spirals.